Just last week, the San Jose Mercury News (a far cry from the Washington Post and Boston Globe that I am used to...) had a picture of McDonald's Coffee as their front-page article. McDonalds remains the largest seller of coffee in the US and their new 'premium' coffees are much richer and must improved. And they have now released espresso drinks in all of their San Francisco locations - trying to steal some of Starbucks' market (the focus on the story).
That apparently has Starbucks scared enough to start testing lower prices for drip coffees - and that has me very excited. In Seattle stores, Starbucks is now offering tall drips for $1.00 (about $0.50 cheaper than normal) with free refills. I am hoping this makes its way down into California, but I am quite doubtful it will... after all, Starbucks has made it an annual tradition to increase coffee prices across the board. But I can hope.
An aside: I still believe that two things:
1) Starbucks drip coffees are still the best chain around. Their espresso-based drinks often are too 'burnt' tasting, but their drip coffees are vastly underrated and all that I now order. In order, these are their three best roasts: 1. Sumatra 2. Gold Cast 3. Komodo Dragon
2) There is still a massive business opportunity to bring Dunkin Donuts to California. There isn't a single DD, yet there are millions of east coast transplants. Dunkin still makes the best iced coffees and, believe it or not, iced coffees make more sense out here than they do in Boston. I do not like having to order my Dunkin Donuts beans online and am waiting for the revolution to begin.